Kai Palaoa - Press Statement



Kūkala ʻia ka hoʻi i Kai Palaoa, ʻo ke kaʻina a Kanaloa e kaʻi nei…
The return (of whales) to Kai Palaoa (Hawaiʻi) is announced….

We are excited to welcome the time of Kanaloa into our physical and spiritual spaces of consciousness as we celebrate the return of our akua Kanaloa to Hawaiʻi. Under less litigious circumstances, Kai Palaoa would be inviting everyone to the 3rd Annual Aloha Kanaloa Cultural Festival, instead we are calling on our supporters to aid us in a time of urgent need.

Federal citations issued against Kai Palaoa by NOAA, in the midst of the on-going legal challenges to protect Mauna Kea, require our immediate attention and action at this time. 

Kai Palaoa is starting a “KŌKUA KAI PALAOA” CAMPAIGN" to cover legal fees and/or potential fines associated with our NOAA case (an estimated cost of $10,000). All donations are deeply appreciated and can be made via PayPal. Our warmest mahalo to all who can extend their kōkua to this campaign. Please read on for more information.


As many of you know, Kai Palaoa is comprised of native Hawaiian cultural practitioners who in their individual and collective practices have been called to stand, serve, defend and protect what is at the core of our practice; our ʻāina (land), our kai (ocean) and our akua (deities). 

Kealoha Pisciotta, founder of Kai Palaoa, is also the president and spokesperson of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou and lead litigant in the Mauna Kea case against TMT that was recently ruled on by the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court. Although the court ruled in favor of the Mauna Kea Hui, this case will now move on to its second contested case hearing phase.

Simultaneously, NOAA recently issued formal federal citations against Roxane Stewart & Kealoha Pisciotta (and Kai Palaoa) alleging “illegal take & transport” stemming from our June 2014 stranding response in Kawaihae where we were honored to care for “Wānanalua”, a small melon-headed whale who stranded, later passed on and was transitioned to the pō i hoʻi ʻole mai.

As Hawaiian cultural practitioners, we stand and take to heart our kuleana (responsibility) in caring for our distressed Kanaloa (the Hawaiian cultural term for whale, dolphins, and other marine mammals) as they are important in maintaining the natural balance and survival of our oceans. 

We have retained legal counsel with whom we are currently working to defend our practice and right to maintain our relationship with our poʻe Kanaloa.  This stand is imperative, because we are being forced to defend ourselves, our organization and our culture against NOAA’s unjust accusations.

Our warmest mahalo to all of you who have stood with us over the years in our work as practitioners and as festival coordinators in our efforts to place our poʻe Kanaloa in the center of our consciousness for the good of Hawaiʻi and the world whose oceans they traverse.


Kai Palaoa established “The Aloha Kanaloa Cultural Festival” in February 2014 as a way for individuals, families & communities to collectively celebrate the beauty, majesty, and reverence of our poʻe Kanaloa and the important role they play, not only to the Hawaiian culture, but to so many cultures of the world and to the natural balance and healing of the ocean. The festival provided an opportunity to pay homage to our cultural connection to, and love for, our poʻe Kanaloa. 

It is with heavy heart that Kai Palaoa must announce that we are UNABLE to bring forth the 2016 Aloha Kanaloa Cultural Festival. The festival is blessed to have tremendous support from our Hawaiʻi island community and beyond. We send our mahalo to our generous sponsors who financially support the festival, to our vendors and to all who are a part of our festival.  We look forward to working with you again next year to bring back the festival in its full capacity.


The Aloha Kanaloa Cultural Festival always opens with ceremony honoring and connecting us to our poʻe Kanaloa and although we are unable to put forth the festival in its entirety in 2016, OUR CEREMONIES FOR THE KANALOA WILL GO ON. We invite you to join us in that ceremony, so please stay tuned for details as they unfold through the Kai Palaoa website and Kai Palaoa Facebook page as well as on our personal Facebook pages (Roxane Stewart and Kealoha Pisciotta).

In light of these momentous events, challenges and the sacred season of Kanaloa and Lono, we humbly ask for your kōkua (help) and kākoʻo (support) by collectively putting forth lots of positive energy and pule that will guide and strengthen us as Kai Palaoa continues along this challenging path. We can never underestimate the mana of pule and collective intention; we will rely heavily upon this source of energy as we traverse these uncharted and challenging waters.

Ola i ke au a Kanaloa!
Life to the realms of Kanaloa!

Me ke aloha a me ka haʻahaʻa,
Kai Palaoa